Age Range: Middle School
What is Scratch?
“Scratch is a programming language and an online community where children can program and share interactive media such as stories, games, and animations with people from all over the world. As children create with Scratch, they learn to think creatively, work collaboratively, and reason systematically. Scratch is designed and maintained by the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab”.
There are many helpful tools available on their website, including a guide for getting started with scratch as well as numerous video tutorials It is easy to use and learn, and available to download for free here or you can do projects directly on their site!
Lesson Plans and Materials
YWiC first integrated Scratch into its curriculum for middle school summer camps in 2013. This tool was chosen because it has proven to be an effective tool for captivating our students interest in computing and technology.
Instruction is done by undergraduate students and typically last for about 5 hours (2.5 hours of instruction time, and 2.5 hours for student program creation/modification). YWiC has conducted short Scratch workshops (usually about 45 minutes) including children as young as 6 as participants!
An initial 5-10 minute presentation is given to students to explain to them the purpose for using Scratch and to orient students with the Scratch interface. During the instruction period, instructors program a project with the students, usually an animation and/or game. Instructors explain what the project will be and how it will work, and demo a completed version of the project. project.
In the 2016 middle school summer camp, new campers were taught Scratch and given ample time to work on their own projects. The lesson began with a short presentation that acted as an overview of Scratch. Then campers were led through the creation of a game in Scratch. Once they finished with this they were able to start brainstorming and working on their own projects. The Scratch materials from the 2016 summer camp are available here.
During our 2013 middle school summer camps, instructors and students programmed an animation and game, and then the students used what they learned to create their own unique.